A slight concern that they’re going to confuse people more than anything remains
Whether you travel by motorized vehicle, bicycle, or a little of both, you’re going to start seeing a lot more streets throughout Crookston with “sharrow” markings painted on them this summer.
A sharrow features an outline of a bicycle and three arrows pointed forward, and it’s painted near the side of the roadway, near where a bicycle lane might be located, if the street was home to a lane reserved only for bicyclists. But, sharrows do not designate bicycle-only lanes, they simply remind motorists and bicyclists of the need to share the road in safe, courteous fashion.
Last year, led by a proposal put together by the Bike Crookston group, sharrows were painted on Central Avenue North. After Crookston City Council approval last week, City crews will be painting additional sharrows on various streets in Crookston that link existing bicycle trails or lead to important community destinations.
The only cost to the City, in addition to labor expended by Public Works crews that do the painting, will be a few hundred dollars worth of paint.
Although the council vote was unanimous among those present, there remains a slight undercurrent of concern that the sharrows will only confuse people who don’t know what they’re supposed to symbolize. “It might not create a bike lane, but it still confuses people,” Ward 6 Council Member Tom Vedbraaten said, noting an article on the subject circulated among council members. “People don’t think they can drive over the sharrows.”
Mayor Wayne Melbye says Bike Crookston leaders, specifically Tim Denney, have assured him and the council that they’ve done their homework on the matter.
“They’re not making it that complicated,” Melbye said. “They’re looking to do a little more educating to knock out some of the confusion. It’s a learning experience, but they’re addressing these issues.”